(Important information for self published authors considering a paid ad campaign)
Hi friends, visitors and fans,
A while back I promised I would share the results of various ad campaigns I have run across three major social networks. I chose to run ads on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube as they are my main avenues for promoting my books. I have put together some detailed graphics for you to get a handle on the stats. I think readers of my blog will be surprised to learn that despite the rather large numbers, in the end, they made not even the slightest bit of difference to sales or interest in my books. In total I spent $50.00 (AU) on all three campaigns. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but one would have expected that the investment would have returned a positive outcome for me as an indie author. Sadly, they did not. In point of fact, the one month I sold the most books in February this year, I did not advertise at all. I did promote in the usual manner and the results in February were due largely to the launch of my latest novel, Children of Mars.
It is my firm belief that ad campaigns by the major social networks are at best, worthless and at worst, outright scams. I say this with a fair degree of annoyance. I know that they cannot and will not promise the results one might reasonably expect, but to have no measurable gains for all the thousands of views and likes is, to put it mildly, very disappointing.
On the positive side (there always is one), I did generate a fair bit of exposure for my brand and as a result of the substantial interest, I can now announce that when I do a Google search of Paul G Day (Without inverted commas I might add), the first twenty results are all my name. Yay me! it is a small victory and a good outcome. But as far as interest converting to sales, well, there were none. That’s the bottom line.
Cast a careful look over the three graphs below. Graph 1 is the Twitter Ad campaign, Graph 2 is the Facebook Ad campaign and finally graph 3 is the YouTube Ad campaign. Please note that the Twitter Ad is still going and the results in the graph are incomplete at this stage. But there was enough information for me to tell you all categorically that the results speak for themselves. Paid Ad campaigns are a resounding failure (in terms of readers buying books).
Now I draw your attention to the deception of Facebook in their particular paid likes campaigns. I was very careful to screen capture all the relevant information, including who liked my page. I have a document twenty pages long with almost a thousand names on it and guess what, they are all from India and many of those accounts were fake. How do I know this? Well, my investigations led me to that conclusion because every time I went to the profile page of a select few of these people, they had minimal information and no status updates to speak of and they all used very similar types of information. Of the ones that did have information, they were a contrivance. This was very clear. I’ve been around a while and I know what to look for when spotting fake profiles. One guy in particular liked my page under different pseudonyms, each with their own FB profile.
Does Facebook know about this? Is Facebook paying individuals to like pages in “like” campaigns, knowing all too well they are not even real? All the evidence points towards this fact. This is disgusting behavior and it amounts to fraud on the behalf of FB. it goes without saying they will not be getting another red cent from me.
My advice to anyone considering a paid ad campaign with any of the major social networks is DON’T! You will be chasing superficial interest with hard earned cash and for naught or very close to it.